Focus on County Taxes
Total property values in Texas counties increased by 7.3 percent, from $1.4 trillion to $1.5 trillion (Table 23). The overall tax levy increased by 7.1 percent, from $4.5 billion to $4.8 billion.
Single-family residences continue to be the primary source of property values for counties, with 45.9 percent of all county value made up by this category of property, which decreased by two tenths of a percent from 2004 when it was 46.1 percent. Vacant land, including lots and acreage, had an increase in the share of the total tax burden. Two categories saw real dollar decreases in value. Industrial real property fell from $67.1 billion to $66.3 billion and intangible personal property decreased from $39.9 million to $10.4 million.
Table 23: County Property Values and Tax Levy Statewide – 2004 and 2005
|Type of Category||2004 Market Value||2004 Percent of Value||2005 Market Value||2005 Percent of Value|
|A. Single-Family Residential||$638,326,736,120||46.1%||$681,580,007,474||45.9%|
|B. Multi-Family Residential||56,907,332,106||4.1%||61,483,517,731||4.1%|
|C. Vacant Lots||28,368,272,885||2.0%||30,565,373,934||2.1%|
|D. Acreage (Land Only)||125,287,414,107||9.0%||135,817,329,663||9.1%|
|E. Farm and Ranch Improvements||30,703,028,405||2.2%||32,862,408,410||2.2%|
|F1. Commercial Real||179,015,107,915||12.9%||192,674,392,791||13.0%|
|F2. Industrial Real||67,145,142,568||4.8%||66,260,289,291||4.5%|
|G. Oil, Gas and Minerals||51,699,109,960||3.7%||67,748,530,599||4.6%|
|L1. Commercial Personal||94,474,717,284||6.8%||97,325,738,545||6.5%|
|L2. Industrial Personal||59,033,923,536||4.3%||64,361,311,744||4.3%|
|M. Other Personal||5,464,146,965||0.4%||5,570,541,083||0.4%|
|N. Intangible Personal||39,933,055||0.0%||10,400,046||0.0%|
|O. Real Property, Inventory||5,375,666,928||0.4%||6,117,073,022||0.4%|
|S. Special Property||3,389,902,152||0.2%||4,090,468,684||0.3%|
|Type of Deduction||2004 Market Value||2004 Percent of Value||2005 Market Value||2005 Percent of Value|
|Deductions - Farm to Market||47,216,388,790||3.4%||$73,422,360,533||4.9%|
|Deductions - General Fund||141,130,390,124||10.2%||257,366,560,764||17.3%|
|Type of Levy||2004 Market Value||2004 Percent of Value||2005 Market Value||2005 Percent of Value|
|General Fund Levy||4,262,874,420||95.6%||4,574,792,670||95.9%|
|Farm to Market & Flood Control Levy||126,417,154||2.8%||134,650,513||2.8%|
|Road and Bridge Levy||67,764,617||1.5%||63,209,025||1.3%|
|Total County Levy||$4,457,056,191||100.0%||$4,772,662,208||100.0%|
The percent of deductions represents the percent of total market value.
Source: Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Property Tax Division.
State law mandates that counties grant a $3,000 homestead exemption for the farm-to-market roads and flood control tax. In 2005, this exemption totaled $3.2 billion.
The amount of exemption may be greater for those homeowners 65 or older or disabled. For 2005, 74 counties granted local option percentage homestead exemption ranging from 1 to 20 percent to 275,714 citizens 65 and older. Thirty-eight counties granted the additional exemption to 30,069 disabled persons. This accounted for a loss of $5.3 billion in value due to these optional exemptions.
County Tax Rates
Each county may levy as many as three individual tax rates for funds dedicated to specific purposes as provided by the Texas Constitution. Those three funds include Farm-to-Market Roads & Flood Control, General Fund and a Special Road and Bridge Fund.
All 254 Texas counties impose a tax for the General Fund. In 2005, that levy totaled $4.6 billion. For the 2005 tax year, 118 counties reported levying the Farm-to-Market Roads & Flood Control tax raising $134.7 million. Seventy-one counties levied the Special Road and Bridge tax resulting in $63.2 million in revenue.
Counties Local Self Report Data – 2005
Table 24 summarizes county property values, exemptions, deductions and tax levies statewide. Property Tax Code Section 5.09 requires the Comptroller’s annual report to include for each county the total appraised value of property by property class, total taxable value and the tax rate.
For each county, Table 24 lists total appraised value in 15 property categories, as defined in Chapter 2. Appraised value represents the market value of property on January 1, 2005. Qualified agricultural and timberlands receive productivity appraisal. Taxable value means the appraised value minus partial exemptions and other possible deductions.
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Many counties report little or no 2005 value in Category H, Vehicles. Personal property not used to produce income, such as personal vehicles, is exempt from taxation unless a school district takes official action to tax it. Category M, Other Personal, is the property value of other personal property, such as manufactured homes. Although Category N, Intangible Personal, appears in this appendix, there is little or no intangible personal property value to tax.
Category S, Special Property, includes certain property inventory of businesses that provide items for sale to the public. State law requires these appraisal districts to appraise inventory items based on the business’ total annual sales in the prior tax year. The following are the four types of Category S properties: Dealer’s Motor Vehicle Inventory, Dealer’s Heavy Equipment Inventory, Dealer’s Vessel and Outboard Motor Inventory and Retail Manufactured Housing Inventory.
Total Value in each category is the appraised value before exemptions or special appraisal.
Permanent University Fund Lands
The Permanent University Fund (PUF) provides money for the maintenance and support of the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and most of their branch campuses. The fund owns more than 2 million acres located in 22 counties. Under provisions of Texas Constitution Article VII, Section 16(a), the state pays county taxes on the land and mineral interest.
In 2005, the taxable value of PUF land and minerals was $313,115,864. The state paid $1,625,222 in county taxes on that land. Table 25 provides an alphabetical list, by county, of the value of PUF-owned land.
Table 25: University of Texas – Permanent University Fund Land 2005 Values
|County||Acres||Number of Parcels||Surface Market Value||Ag Use Value||Non Ag Use Value||Surface Taxable Value||Mineral Royalty Taxable Value||Total Taxable Value||Total Tax Paid|
* These counties had acreage reductions in 2005 due to Global Positioning System resurveys and road construction. Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 2005.